Do you wonder why it 's not "Jag har inte en spegel"? "Inte en" normally becomes "ingen" in Swedish and, in the same way, "inte ett" becomes "inget".
Oh my god, I was just about to ask why can't we translate it as 'jag har inte en spegel', but then I saw this comment of yours. You deserve my lingots!
Swedish is neat!
Ok, if this means "I have no mirror" in English, it also means "I don't have any mirrors" in English, as the two sentences are equivalent (in English). Both should be accepted, especially since the latter one is the most likely to be said (by American English speakers, anyway).
But the sentence with plural mirrors would be Jag har inga speglar in Swedish.
And I haven't checked here, but usually it accepts both "I have no ..." and "I don't have a ..." (i.e., singular rather than plural). Given the age of your comment, you've probably figured that out already, though ...
This word order in English always makes me think of The Princess Bride:
I have no gate key. Fezzik, tear his arms off. Oh, you mean THIS gate key.
It doesn't really make sense in English (at least to me). It's 'I don't have a mirror', 'I have no mirror' or 'I don't have any mirrors'.
On second (or third thought:) 'I don't have any mirror' sounds silly. But usually 'no' can be replaced by 'not any' right? Right.
I have a faint memory of having looked into this at some point and found that it can be used with plurals, mass nouns, and abstract nouns.
It’s not the same. Say everyone gets a mirror each for a group activity. One person is missing one. Your plural would sound strange.
Not correct English. ‘I haven’t a mirror’ is valid BUT ‘I have not a mirror’ is archaic, lol.
How can I understand when I should use inge and inte? As to this example, can I use inte instead of inge?
- inte = not
- ingen = no, singular en-word form (as in "no mirror")
- inget = no, singular ett-word form (as in "no mirror")
- inga = no, plural form (as in "no mirrors")
- Inge = a man's name; not a word
The problem is with the translation. "I have no mirror"? Seriously, who says that???
We also accept "I don't have a mirror", "I've got no mirror", etc.